Weekend Update

Late Sunday update!  We celebrated Miles’ birthday tonight–Rich made watermelon margaritas, beef and chicken fajitas with all the fixins, and a peach tart with ice cream for dessert. We’ve found THE BEST peaches at Trader Joe’s!  Went back today and bought another box!  Here are a few interesting reads from the last week.

School starts tomorrow.  I liked this thoughtful piece.

My middle daughter Bonnie ran track in middle school, high school, and college. I spent a lot of time at track meets in cold, wind, rain, and burning hot sun, loving (almost) every minute of it.  She was a hurdler so I got a special kick out of seeing these amazing US women win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the Olympics.  Awesome!

Discouraging.  🙂  I’m gonna have to step it up!

I worry about my grandkids coming across a gun at someone’s home (we are in Texas, after all). Or another child finding a gun and shooting one of mine by accident. I posted this article on my Facebook page and it garnered a few comments by pro-gun people stating that it’s all about education.  I’m sorry, I don’t think education is enough.  I hope every parent asks about guns when kids get together at each other’s homes, even if it’s awkward to do so.

We do our boys and men a disservice by asking them to keep their emotions to themselves.

Botanical tattoos.

Picture at the top from our former  home in Unalaska, AK.  Lovely, isn’t it?


Retirement Issues: Health Insurance

Rich and I retired at 61, before we were eligible for Medicare.  In Alaska, we both had great health insurance through Rich’s employer,  including vision and dental.  We knew that finding health insurance would be a bit of a hassle but I had done some research and thought that we would be able to figure things out once his insurance came to an end. And we knew that we had the option to continue with his insurance through COBRA for awhile if needed.  With the Affordable Care Act, I knew that we could not be denied coverage so I wasn’t overly concerned about having to find new insurance.  Unfortunately, we have had nothing but hassles with our insurance so far.  If you are looking to retire early and can’t afford a high priced policy, beware!

I called healthcare.gov when we first moved to Texas and submitted an application showing that we’d had a change of circumstances (no longer covered by employer and moved to a different state).  That was all fine and good and we were approved for coverage outside of the open enrollment period.

Next we had to find an insurance company that had the services we needed and did not cost a fortune.  My first rude awakening was that the “Affordable” Care Act does not necessarily provide very affordable insurance unless you are under a certain income limit.  Unfortunately, because Rich and I both worked most of the year (we retired in October 2015), our application was based on the income we’d already earned, even though we were only living on our savings the rest of the year (October through December 2015).  Because of our income, we would have to pay about $1200 a month to cover both of us for the rest of 2015 and then we could reapply with our lower income for 2016.   We were a little paranoid but we decided to go without insurance for the rest of 2015 since we didn’t have any major medical issues looming.  We decided not to take COBRA because it was going to be just as high.  (Thankfully we made it through without any problems!)

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